Working from a home office is becoming more and more popular. As technology improves, internet speeds increase we are seeing an upward trend in folks working from home. Now with the world adapting to these strange and worrying times due to COVID-19 virus a lot of us (that can) are now working from home.
Working from home will come with many benefits, those commutes stuck in traffic will disappear and your fuel costs will drop. It also comes with its pitfalls. Your mental health can be tested and productivity is likely to slip a lot more than if you were in your official office.
We’ve decided to put together some top tips for working from home, a lot of them are based on our own experience.
Let’s delve into our tips for working from home.
This should naturally be the first step you take when working from home. With most of us working from home for the foreseeable future setting up a permanent workspace is more important than ever.
A lot of us are not blessed with huge areas of spare space or rooms to set up a permanent work station so if you are struggling for space, setting up a small desk in a corner of a room will still help create the feel of a permanent work environment. The key is to train yourself to think that this particular area of my home is a space for working only. Also, ensure that your home working environment is quiet and well lit so productivity doesn’t suffer.
Hopefully, your employer will have given you all of the tools you need to work from home such as a decent laptop, phone or internet-enabled device. One thing we strongly suggest is investing in a good quality router if you don’t already have one. You are going to rely on a strong internet connection more than ever so ensuring you have a consistently strong Wi-Fi signal at your new home office environment is essential to ensure you keep up with the tasks at hand.
In Particular, a good quality office chair, after all, you are going to be sat in it for around 8 hours a day. If you can’t get to an Ikea store due to it being closed (due to Corona), perhaps you go into your office and take your office chair home with you?
Once you have your work environment set up it’s now time to get things done. As you are probably going to be working from home for weeks at a time you need to set your hours to suit. The great thing about working from home is the flexibility. If you are going to be walking the dog or cutting the lawn throughout the day, you could easily lose track of what hours you are working. Apps like clockerly are great at keeping track of your working hours. Once you have fulfilled your hours for the day, ensure that you have distanced yourself from working environment so you aren’t working nonstop.
Whilst your working at home you probably won’t have your manager keeping tabs on your schedule may be as much as they would be in the office. It can be quite easy to lose sight of priorities and deadlines.
Either ending your day with what the next day’s tasks are or starting each morning by updating a task diary will certainly help keep you focused and on track. When you have completed each task, mark it as complete. Simple processes like this can keep your mind clear and focused.
It’s one of those cheesy corporate catchphrases but there really is something in it. It can be tempting to roll out of bed and start working in your PJ’s. You may think it doesn’t matter what you are wearing working at home as nobody can see what you're wearing.
If you start letting your dress code slip you are likely to let other areas slip to. It’s all about being in the right mindset and dressing for work is all part of that mindset. Besides, what would you do if your boss wanted to set up a video conference call?
Dressing as if you were going to go into the office will prepare you mentally and physically for the working day ahead.
I can't stress how important this is important to keep in mind whilst we are working at home and self-isolating. It’s going to be so easy to be static most of the day, once you finish working you might sit down for the evening and watch TV as your local gym has shut down due to obvious reasons.
It’s a well-known fact that there is a correlation between exercise and good mental wellbeing. When we exercise our brain releases endorphins which increases our happiness and enjoyment levels. It also helps reduce stress levels. Perhaps you could set aside half an hour on your lunch break every day to go on a walk? Maybe you could take up Yoga in your living room?
Ensuring you take regular breaks away from your home office to stretch and rest your eyes for a few minutes will also help keep your posture in good shape too.
All of us are going to adapt to a different way of life for the foreseeable future. Introducing new ideas can help ease this process of change. One idea we have come up with is a stand-up meeting conducted over video calling app. I encourage you to experiment with new ideas, some may work and some won’t.
I hope these tips have been helpful as you get used to working from home.
Article Written by Matt Partridge
Web Developer & Digital Marketing Specialist